31 March 2009

The secrets of writing business letters

As far back as biblical times, businessmen have used powerful communication to achieve wealth and position.
Even today the right message at the right time can lead to sweet success of business.
Want money? A promotion? To sell something? Explain something? Then write a good letter for your business.
Letter writing is not a lost art. Just a forgotten one. The principles still exist. If you try them, you’ll see improvement in your next letter of your business.

1. Start from the end: - Decide what you’d like to happen as the result of your business letter.
Make a list of all the things you’d like to say. Look them over. Find any that don’t support your main cause, and cross them off without remorse.
Remember, the best business letters have a strong sense of purpose.
2. Get to the point early: - If your reader wanted a mystery, he’d be reading Raymond Chandler. A letter should tell whodunit in the first paragraph.
3. Put yourself in your reader’s place: - Think if the same letter came to you, how would you respond?
Therefore, be friendly. Be nice. And find ways to turn negative statements into positive ones of your business.

4. Say it plainly: - There is no such thing as a “business language”. Phrases like “in compliance with your request” and “enclosed herewith” will only make you seem like a robot. Write the way you talk, naturally.
Keep your sentences short – one idea in each. Any sentence longer
Than two typed lines is automatically suspect.
5. Clear the deadwood: - Chop out words, sentences and even whole paragraphs if they don’t contribute. Work hard so your reader won’t have to.
In particular, cast a questioning eye on adjectives. They can sap the strength from your words, or stretch your credibility. As Voltaire put it, “The adjective is the enemy of the noun”.
6. Use active verbs: - Face it, the passive voice is wimpy. “A decision has been reached by the committee” wouldn’t last three rounds in the ring with “The committee has reached a decision”.
Also, your reader will sniff a cover up if you write: “Your order has
Been misplaced” instead of “I misplaced your order”. Courage!
7. Be Human: - Your business letter should like a conversation, not a decree.
Address your reader by name: “Dear Ms. Hartman”. And if you can fit it in naturally, use Ms. Hartman’s name once or twice in the body. You want her to know you wrote the letter just for her.
Whenever you can, use pronouns like I, we, and you. Especially you – It’s an arrow straight to your reader’s heart.

8. Never write in anger: - Your anger will evaporate; your letter won’t. President Truman often vented his fury in letters. He also had the sense never to send them.
Devise a way to handle the problem in an upbeat manner. Your chances of success will multiply tenfold.
9. End it with and action step: - The last sentence of your business letter should suggest the reader’s next move. Or your own next move.
Resist the hat-in-hand, shuffling type of exit: “Again, thank you for…” or “If you have any problems. Please don’t hesitate to call.”
Instead, try closing with a plain and simple “Sincerely”, and your signature. It may be the perfect ending.
10. Be Professional: - The strongest business letter in the World can’t survive a bad presentation.
Set up a clean, logical format for your business letter. A crowded or over designed page will distract from your message.
11. Develop a regimen: - The keys to powerful correspondence are
a) Writing often and
b) Responding quickly.
IF it sounds like work, read on.

The easiest way to more powerful correspondence is Quick Letter, from Working Software.
Unlike heavy-duty word processors, Quick Letter is designed to do one thing and one thing only – write letters fast.
Here’s how:
Quick Letter’s built-in address book places your reader’s name and address into your letter, automatically.
Quick letter’s page preview displays your letter, vertically centered, in the format you’ve defined. Automatically.
Quick letter addresses any size envelope. Automatically.
And the list of features goes on. There you have it. All the secrets of brilliant business correspondence at your fingertips. Except one. And you can pick that up at your local software store.

I hope that u enjoyed reading the secrets of writing business letters !!

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